German Philosophy

by Daniel Gurpide

The more I follow Curt’s posts, the more I realize German philosophy is not that ‘great’.

The Greats of German philosophy (Kant-Fichte-Hegel-Marx-Heidegger, I’m leaving Nietzsche outside on purpose, I know) make up a Counter-Enlightenment tradition that ends up being suspicious of science and technology, anti-individualistic and anti-liberal. They all contributed in varying degrees to the authoritarian regimes that developed in the 1900s – the various forms of authoritarian nationalisms, the national and international socialisms, the fascisms – and the cultural catastrophes named ‘Frankfurt School’ and ‘Post-Modernism’.

Kant (the only picture in Kant’s house was a portrait of Rousseau that was hanging over his writing desk) buttressed the pre-modern worldview of faith and duty against the inroads of the Enlightenment: “I have therefore found it necessary to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith.” (Kant)

Hegel explicitly attacks the entire tradition of logic as it had developed from Aristotle to modernity. He wants to believe in a kind of spiritually-driven, dialectically-evolving metaphysics that cannot be expressed logically. His deeper views are that one’s self is but an aspect of the collective, that the Divine works through collective self-realization, and that the State is the manifestation of the Divine.

Hegel on the beginning of the universe: “So far, there is nothing: something is to become. The beginning is not pure nothing, but a nothing from which something is to proceed; so that being is already contained in the beginning. The beginning thus contains both, being and nothing; it is the unity of being and nothing, or is not-being which is being, and being which is also not being.” This is a forewarning of the worst Heidegger, the ‘nazi’ philosopher par excellence who paradoxically ended up recreating the Jewish cosmogonic myth (Creation ‘ex nihilo’).

The triad Kant-Fichte-Hegel is behind the modern German educational system, still active nowadays: a factory of perfect automata devoid of personality, adept at crushing any signs of individualism. Social conformism explains why today in Germany there is no resistance to the suicidal program implemented by ‘Big Mutti’.

German philosophers are Lutheran pastors in a new garb. All of them, even Marx. Is he German or Jewish? I’m not sure. Isn’t Protestantism another big gulp of Abrahamism? Are Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Heidegger German or Jewish? Is more dangerous the combination of a German philosopher raised in an Abrahamic cult or a Jewish thinker educated in the German school?

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